Sam Smith:

For four years, while insisting that Nader and the Greens had cost it the election, the Democrats did not do one thing to insure that what they claimed was true didn’t happen again. In fact, they went out of their way to insure that American progressives would feel as unwelcome in 2004 as they did in 2000. They made no common cause with Greens on any issue. They appointed no Greens to positions in federal, state or local government. They took not one step to institute instant runoff voting which would have eliminated the problem they complained about. They even moved immediately to redistrict the first state legislative seat won by a Green…

A couple of weeks ago I wrote one of Nader’s top aides suggesting that Ralph not run. I had just finished an article for the Green Horizon Quarterly in which I reviewed the history of third parties in the U.S. It seemed clear that the parties with the greatest influence had achieved it far more through grass roots organizing than through presidential races…

“While I understand Ralph’s moral position and think he has a perfect right
to run, I come out of the Quaker tradition where virtue tends to be blended
with pragmatism. Besides, once you decide to enter politics you are
selecting a pragmatic tool for virtue so it is a bit hard to say that you
want to be political but reject the pragmatic.”

The Democrats will have to live with the vituperative behavior they have displayed towards those they more wisely would have been sought to attract. If some Dean voters stay home, if others join the Nader cause, and if Nader does better than expected, the Democrats have no one to blame but themselves. They then really will have only one choice: either to open up or to shut up – either to welcome those they now excoriate and exclude or have the decency to accept the consequences of their own greed and stupidity without whining and blaming someone else.

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